Eurovision first saw the light of day less than a decade after the guns fell silent in Europe.
The continent lay in ruins and deep hatreds forged in battle weren’t going away in a hurry.
It is exceptional that just 9 years and 16 days after Victory in Europe (VE) Day some of the nations most affected by the fighting came together.
And they did so for something which could be all too easily brushed off as “entertainment”.
Former enemies & former allies came together on the neutral soil of Lugano.
It is more than conceivable that, singers & musicians & broadcasters who had formerly been at each others throats, figuratively and literally, were in the same place and at the same time.
Eurovision (and the various european football competitions) enabled relationshipsto be re-established and some kind of normality to be restored.
That achievment must never be forgotten.
Fast forward to the late 1980s & 1990s and Eurovision was again part of a process of re-builiding and, eventually, reconciliation.
The world watched, startled and appalled, as Yugoslavia fell apart.
The microcosm of the ESC reflected what was going on.
This the Yugoslav Eurovision story as seen by AJ & Hikki.
A nation-state which had been a watchword for multi-culturalism & tolerance became a killing field.
Yugoslavia crumbled, slowly & bloodily, & the states of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Monetnegro, Serbia and Slovenia (alphabetical order) emerged.
Against that backdrop, perhaps sometimes a little naively, the Eurovision Song Contest kept rolling along.
But, and but is the word, it helped to ease the great and deep pain.
And it helped to heal.
Sometimes keeping on keeping on actually helps.
Don’t take our word for it.
Listen to Slobodan Todorović, the founder and editor-in-chief of Serbian Eurovision web portal “ESC Serbia“ talk about how the ties of history – at least musical history – still bind.
All is still far from well in the Balkans, but (that word “but” again) music is helping.
There is generosity of spirit and open mindedness.
That’s no bad thing
- Special Report: Auntie’s quandary – UK in 2012 (joyeurovision.com)
- JoyEurovision calls Milly Scott (joyeurovision.com)
- Baku prepares for Eurovision & it’s not pretty (joyeurovision.com)
- Special Report: Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest 1975-1979 (joyeurovision.com)
- Eurovision History Chat: Slovenia (joyeurovision.com)